A List of Little-known Headache Facts–Part II

  • 23 Million Americans suffer from migraine.
    • Of the 23 million migraine sufferers, over 2 million require the expertise of a headache specialist to find optimal care and the highest quality of care.
    • Presently, less than 23,000 migraine sufferers have access to headache specialty care.
  • Headache disorders have historically been one of the most underserved medical disorders.
  • Since the passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), the number of patients with access to headache specialists have significantly dropped. This is directly related to the falling reimbursement by third party payors for headache services under the ACA.
  • More than 50% of all neurological disabilities are headache disorders.
  • More headache sufferers are disabled than all stroke, MS, Parkinson patients combined, yet headache disorders only get pennies to every dollar spend on research in these other aforementioned neurological disorders.
  • The comorbid illnesses in patients with migraine include stroke, sub-clinical vascular brain lesions, coronary heart disease, hypertension, patent foramen ovale, psychiatric diseases (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, and suicide), restless legs syndrome, epilepsy and asthma.
  • A recent study showed that only 52% of present headache specialists plan on staying in headache medicine or keeping at least the volume of patients they presently have, next year. This is directly related to falling reimbursement by insurance companies for headache work.
  • Migraine tends to run in families. If one parent suffers from migraine, there is a 40% chance a child will suffer. If both parents suffer, the chance rises to 90%.
  • Migraine is the 8th most disabling illness in the world.
  • Every 10 seconds, someone in the United States goes to the emergency room with a headache or migraine.
  • While most sufferers experience attacks once or twice a month, 14 million people or about 4% have chronic daily headache, when attacks occur at least 15 days per month.
  • More than 90% of sufferers are unable to work or function normally during their migraine.
  • Nearly half of all migraine sufferers are never diagnosed.
  • The majority of migraine sufferers do not seek medical care for their pain.
  • Only 4% of migraine sufferers who seek medical care consult headache and pain specialists.